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Does the Eastern Purple Coneflower Have Compound or Simple Leaves?


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An herbaceous perennial wildflower native to much of the eastern United States, eastern purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) displays simple leaves. In botany, simple describes a single leaf blade that lacks leaflets. Simple leaves often are oval shaped.

Features

  • Eastern purple coneflower leaves are elongated tapering ovals or wide lances. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs on the stems. Each leaf blade attaches to the plant stem with an obvious, narrow petiole. Three or five veins cross the leaf face.

Size

  • Depending on location on the plant, leaves range in size from 2 to 12 inches long and 1/3 inch to 3 inches wide. Smaller leaves occur highest on the stems just under the flowers.

Considerations

  • Leaves on the eastern purple coneflower rarely have a smooth edge or margin. Typically, each leaf has irregular teeth or short serrations along the margins. Leaves always end with a distinct point, while the leaf base by the petiole may look evenly rounded or heart-like. Variations exist among leaves as well as between separate plants.

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